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Observations placeholder

Mrs Holland - Receiving messages and poems via automatic writing



Type of Spiritual Experience


Mrs Alice Fleming was the sister of Rudyard Kipling and practised as "Mrs Holland" with Mrs Verrall, as a medium and automatic writer.  As they were both involved in the Cross Correspondences,  we have placed their observations together.

A description of the experience

Evidence of Personal Survival from Cross Correspondences – H F Saltmarsh 1938

The next to be described is the lady who is known as Mrs. Holland. She was at first not personally acquainted with any of the officers or members of the Society, but corresponded with Miss Alice Johnson, the Secretary.

She lived at the time in India, but came home for a year or so in April, 1904. She met Miss Johnson for the first time in October, 1905, and Mrs. Verrall in the November following.

She began automatic writing for her own amusement in 1893.

The bulk of her script at the period for the first ten years, consisted of verse. In a letter to Miss Johnson, dated September 14th, 1903, she says:

Proceedings SPR Volume XXI p 171
'The verses, though often childishly simple in wording and jingling in rhyme, are rarely trivial in subject. Their striking feature is the rapidity with which they come. I once wrote down fourteen poems in little over an hour. When I write original verse I do so slowly and carefully, with frequent erasures: automatic verse is always as if swiftly dictated and there are never any erasures. I am always fully conscious, but my hand moves so rapidly that I seldom know what words it is forming.
'I have been asked if automatic writing has ever stated facts previously unknown to me, which were afterwards proved to be correct.'

She then quotes a poem written automatically, which ran as follows:

'Under the orange tree
Who is it lies?
Baby hair that is flaxen fair,
Shines when the dew on the grass is wet,
Under the iris and violet.
'Neath the orange-tree
Where the dead leaves be,
Look at the dead child's eyes!'

Proceedings SPR Volume XXI p 173
'This is very curious,' said my friend, 'there is a tradition that a child is buried in the garden here, but I know that you have never heard it.

She mentioned a few other instances wherein her script seemed to contain information unknown to her, and says :

Proceedings SPR Volume XXI p 174
'Since then I have felt on three occasions that some unseen but very present personality was striving to transmit a message through me to a well-beloved.

The source of the experience

Verrall, Margaret

Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Automatic writing